Berlin, 13. “For the first time, one of our European meetings is being held in Berlin. Berlin is a city characterized by great diversity; a city turned toward the future but also attempting to integrate the memory of a painful past; a city whose population has shown that it will not be discouraged by difficult situations,” writes Brother Alois, Prior of the Community of Taizé in his annual letter for the European meeting which will be attended by thousands of young people in the great city of the continent between Christmas and New Years. For five days, from December 28, 2011 to January 1, 2012, the German capital will become a European platform for youth and the symbol of a united Europe. After Brussels, Poznan and Rotterdam, this 34th European meeting – the “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth,” - is a response to the invitation of Catholic and Protestant churches and the Mayor of Berlin. The meeting is held at a time when Europe is in need of a new breath of life and many are questioning the foundation and limits of European solidarity.
The annual letter is meditated on throughout the year during meetings in Taizé, as well as across Europe and on other continents. The 2012 Letter is entitled, “Towards a New Solidarity,” and will be translated into more than fifty languages. In the introduction, Brother Alois writes, “Although human solidarity has always been necessary, it needs to be constantly renewed and rejuvenated by being expressed in new ways.” Faced with world economic upheaval, changes in geopolitical equilibrium and growing inequality, the Prior of Taizé asks, “Could this be a reason to reflect more on the choices we make for our lives? The impetus towards a new solidarity is nourished by deeply-held convictions: the need for sharing is one of them. This is an imperative which can bring together believers of different religions as well as believers and non-believers.”